BSc(Hons), PhD, GCLTHE
Dr Ireland has been a lecturer in and anatomy and physiology at CSU since the start of 2011. After graduating with a science degree in biochemistry, molecular biology and biological science from Griffith University (Qld). He then went on to complete Honours and a PhD in physiology at the University of Queensland where he examined the neuromodulation of brainstem motoneurons that are critical for maintaining upper airway patency during respiration. Dysfunctions in these neuronal groups are thought to contribute to many breathing-related disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (Ondine's curse) and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). He then undertook a three-year postdoctoral appointment at the University of Alberta in Canada and returned to Australia in 2008 to commence further postdoctoral work at the Queensland Brain Institute investigating synaptic transmission in the prefrontal cortex.
While Dr Ireland was an undergraduate student he was taught and mentored by numerous gifted lecturers who ignited his interest in science. To them, science wasn't remembering facts and figures from obscure textbooks. It wasn't advances in new technology. It was the study all things in nature that covered everything from the creation of the universe to the interaction of particles at the subatomic level. Science at its core was asking questions that hadn't been asked before, generating hypothesis and testing those hypothesis. Because of that approach to his learning he would walk away from lectures feeling inspired and would later lead to a career in academia where to could instil that same enthusiasm in his students.
For over 22 years Dr Ireland has taught and convened into numerous topics in healthcare such as anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, neuroscience, cardiac and respiratory dysfunction. He has played a considerable role in revising subject content and developing assessment items. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Ireland further played a critical early role in adapting original face to face lectures to the online environment.
Dr Ireland has a long-standing interest in respiratory physiology, particular the behaviour of brainstem neurons from the hypoglossal nucleus. These motoneurons innervate the muscles of the tongue and play a crucial role in breathing particularly during inspiration where they contract to allow more air to enter the larynx and the lungs. During different behavioural states such as wakefulness and sleep, these motoneurons receive alternating levels of various monoamines such as serotonin, acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Many breathing related disorders such as SIDS and OSA are thought to be due to dysfunctions in these respiratory related neurons. Since Dr Irelands appointment at CSU he has transitioned into the scholarship of teaching with several publications in science anxiety and the prevalence of academic misconduct in Australian healthcare students.